'Are Arsenal doing enough in the January transfer window?'

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta - Credit: PA

Over halfway through the January transfer window, and Arsenal have made two moves: loaning out the disgruntled Ainsley Maitland-Niles to Jose Mourinho’s Roma, and shipping out promising young striker Folarin Balogun to Middlesbrough on loan.

We saw last January the value of Arsenal trimming their squad part way through the season, and whilst these moves both make sense, are the Gunners being active enough in the transfer market? 

Arsenal currently sit in fifth place, two points behind West Ham in but with two games in hand on the Hammers. They also sit two points ahead of Tottenham who have two games in hand on the Gunners. 

The confusion of teams having played an uneven number of games has added to the competitiveness of the top-four race, with the two North London clubs poised to battle it out for Champions League football.

The situation suggests that Arsenal should be looking to move in January to get a one up on their rivals, and reported pursuits of Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic and Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes suggest Arteta and Edu are pushing, but big name moves are always going to be tricky to acquire part way through the season.

The most pressing area is midfield since Arsenal came into January with just two senior midfield players, Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga, due to Afcon. But with Xhaka testing positive for Covid, then getting sent off against Liverpool on his return, the Gunners are desperately short in the middle of the park.

As a result, it is surprising to see a lack of movement on the midfield front to bolster the squad, even on loan. 

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On the outgoings front, a number of players remain in limbo, with the likes of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah and Sead Kolasinac all with unresolved transfer situations which could have adverse effects on the team moving forwards. 

January is often slow for business, but with a prime opportunity for top four within Arsenal’s grasp, the Gunners need to up the pace of their winter deals.